Challenging Conditions

With a trip to the Mainland in less than a week’s time, we have been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast. The storm that brought record levels of snow to the East Coast of the USA has brought wet and windy conditions to the West Coast of Scotland – including Tiree.

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In the Winter timetable, weather permitting, Tiree has five sailings a week to the Mainland port of Oban. This winter CalMac have done their best under adverse conditions to provide the island with a service. This was especially true at Christmas and New Year.

Monday’s ferry, the ‘Lord of the Isles’ made the crossing, but Tuesday’s sailing was cancelled due to wind and wave conditions – in the morning winds were gusting up to 58mph. Although the forecast keeps changing, winds in excess of 60mph are forecast for Friday. Indeed the general forecast for the next seven days is for high winds.

With Tuesday’s ferry cancelled CalMac provided a sailing on Wednesday.  It left Oban at 6:00am and arrived in Tiree at 9:45am. Not only was this crossing on a day when we don’t normally have one in the Winter, but it was a different vessel from normal. With the Clansman sailing south to Birkenhead for its annual overhaul and MOT, we had her sister ship the Hebrides. While we are grateful to have her, those who normally travel on her on the Uig Triangle are not so happy.

Today, we have experienced grey skies and blue skies, but all too soon slates will be rattling, waves will be crashing and rain will be driving. Island life is if anything unpredictable. It can be challenging for those who work on the land or at sea. Yet, it is so rewarding living in such a community.

This is life on Tiree.